Thursday, 21 August 2014

Pop Up!: Pestaurant / New Change

Pop Up! is a new series of shorter reviews of popup restaurants and market stands to keep you going between burger restaurants and more permanent outlets.

Pestaurant is an unusual pop-up that I was alerted to in the local Time Out magazine that took place earlier today at the fancy New Change mall in the City of London. Organised as a promotional event for pest controllers Rentokill, Pestaurant is pretty much the antithesis of the swanky, posh restaurants that can be found close by. Simply put, they take bugs, crickets and worms that could be pretty gross if they weren't dead and serve them up as toasted snacks. Now while I'm not the sort of squeamish person, I'm also not the sort of person to see a dead bug on my kitchen floor as a possible snack  but for a laugh a few crunchy bugs make for a strangely compelling and fairly edible lunch.

But being that this is a burger blog, the most interesting thing they were serving up were quartered pigeon burger with a sweet chilli sauce, which were being barbecued wholesale and given out for for free. So far, so good - a free burger! Served in a brioche bun with a bed of lettuce and sweet chilli sauce (think the same stuff you get in Chinese food), the pigeon burger is a really juicy, gamey burger and I was surprised at how good pigeon and fowl (other than chicken) taste as a meat for making burgers with. As this photo shows, this gamey flavour is down to very spartan preparation and medium rare cooking with no onions or other ingredients in sight; just ground meat made into patties with the chilli sauce working to offset the strong taste of the meat. 

For a free burger I can't complain too much - it's something different and interesting to try as a change, but give me beef any time.